'Poppy Truck' will 'get support of every lorrydriver in the country'

Steve Brown's "Lest We Forget" van
Steve Brown's "Lest We Forget" van
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An ex soldier has urged the owner of the Poppy Truck to stick it out in her battle with the Royal British Legion.

Steve Brown spent £5,000 doing up his van on similar lines to those that have got truckdriver Christine Langham in hot water with the Royal British Legion.

Steve Brown spent 5,000 doing up the van

Steve Brown spent 5,000 doing up the van

The RBL has threatened Mrs Langham, who has been using her Poppy Truck to help raise money for the Legion, with legal action, unless she relinquishes her trademark.

Mr Brown, who was in the Royal Army Medical Corps for 30 years, including in the Falklands, Kosovo and Desert Storm, as well as three tours in Afghanistan, said he was approached by a member of the RBL at a show, who "wasn't happy and threatened me (with action)."

Mr Brown, who now takes people on battlefield tours, told him to "go ahead" but has not heard anything since.

He said: "It is absolutely crazy. I'm not collecting money - I'm just doing it to thank everybody from the past.

Christine Langham in her Poppy Truck

Christine Langham in her Poppy Truck

"I know what this lady does and every penny goes to the Legion and some of that money goes to taking the old guys to the battlefields.

"I have a friend who has a Lest We Forget truck and he hasn't got a problem and he takes it to shows all the time."

Mr Brown said the longer the RBL continued to put pressure on Mrs Langham the more it would damage their reputation.

He added: "I think she will get hundreds of thousands of people supporting her - certainly the backing of every English truck and coachdriver.

The Poppy Truck has helped raise thousands for the Royal British Legion

The Poppy Truck has helped raise thousands for the Royal British Legion

"The Legion should be praising her for what she is doing, for raising funding and awareness."

Mrs Langham said she felt heartened by the massive support she has had on social media. An online petition has gained over 1,000 signatures in just a day.

She said: "The RBL has to listen to the public who keep them in donations."

A spokesman for The Royal British Legion said on Monday: "In regards to charitable activities the word “Poppy” is exclusively associated with The Royal British Legion as a registered charity supporting the Armed Forces community, and we have a duty to ensure that the public has a clear understanding of where their donations are going.

"If people donate to organisations using the word “Poppy”, they need to have confidence that the money is going directly to a registered charity.

‘We would not agree to other organisations registering the phrase “Team Poppy and The Poppy Truck” as a trade mark, and we didn’t oppose the registration earlier this year as we were not made aware of it.

"We would be concerned if the public were misled into believing that a trade mark owner not operating under the remit of The Royal British Legion was in some way formally connected with it.

‘We are always grateful for people raising money on our behalf, however we must operate within legal guidelines and uphold our responsibilities to our beneficiaries and the general public."